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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 1, 2006

Poets Kelsey And Maxwell, Alumnae Of The UI Writers' Workshop, Read Feb. 16

Poets Karla Kelsey and Susan Maxwell, graduates of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from their recent work at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Kelsey is the winner of the 2005 Sawtooth Prize for her book, "Knowledge, Forms, The Aviary," judged by Carolyn Forche. Maxwell will read from her highly praised first book, "Passenger."

Writers' Workshop faculty member Cole Swensen wrote, "Kelsey builds us a world here as a painter might -- based on colors, vivid and free-floating -- and she populates that world with birds and gardens and a sense of delicate, indeterminate destruction. And so she rebuilds. This book is a lovely feat, a triumph over eroding forces and the proof that resistance can be graceful, compassionate, and above all, adventurous."

And poet Donald Revell commented, "Karla Kelsey is a poet of a knowledge given wings of a dove."

Kelsey (photo, right) has degrees from UCLA and the University of Denver in addition to the UI, she teaches at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. She is also the author of the chapbook "Little Dividing Doors in the Mind," and from 2003-2005 she was associate editor of the Denver Quarterly.

The poems in Maxwell's "Passenger" shift between the mythology of the Middle East and the bombed-out cities of the former Yugoslavia, the ancient Roman tale of Romulus and Remus, and the hawking of grisly war memorabilia on cratered city streets.

She earned her bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies at the University of California, Berkeley, before she came to the UI. Her work has been featured in publications including Verse, American Letters & Commentary, Fence, Volt and River City Magazine. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2004 for the poem "Plural For Tree at the Forested Edge."

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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